Coconut export earnings increase by 56%
Coconut sector posted 56 percent increase in export earnings during
the first quarter of 2009.
According to the Chairman CDA Keerthisiri Weerasinghe, the Coconut
sector in Sri Lanka was able to showcase a 56 percent growth in export
earnings to register 7.417 million rupees from exports of coconut
products in first quarter 2009 against the corresponding period in 2008.
This achievement was made possible despite the global recession and
prevailed negative sentiments.
High yielding coconut
Although number of coconut kernel based industries struck badly due
to severe shortage of raw material during the first quarter of 2008,
things backed to normal after May 2008 and supply situation remained
favourable over the remaining period in 2008 and during the first
quarter of 2009.
Chairman CDA further added that this significant achievement was
further attributed by implementation of industry favourable policy
framework under the Mahinda Chinthanaya, initiatives, facilitative role
by the CDA and conducive international market scenario etc.
Sri Lanka is considered as one of the leading manufacturers of
coconut products in the world other than Philippines, Indonesia and
India. Sri Lankan coconut is well accepted in the world market for its
unique sweet taste and pleasant smell.
At the same time Sri Lanka is accounted for the largest per capita
consumer of coconut in the world and coconut is used as a major source
of protein and fat.
Sri Lanka exports about 30 major category of coconut products to over
100 countries all over the world.
As like kernel products Sri Lanka is also well recognised in the
world market for Coir fibre products and demand for Coir fibre products
expressed a strong tone over past few years due to increasing concern
over environmentally friendly products and demand driven by rapid growth
of the emerging markets especially China.
Kernal based products
Export performance of coconut kernel based products over the period
under review showcased substantial growth by 107 percent in value and
foreign exchange earnings from this segment amounted to Rupees 3.5
billion against Rupees 1.7 billion in 2008.
Amongst the coconut kernel based products Desiccated Coconut (DC)
exports over the first quarter of 2009 amounted to 1,739 million in
value terms and this was a 246 percent increase against the value of 503
million registered in the previous year.
At the same time the volume of Desiccated coconut exported during the
period under review surged by 369 percent as compared to the same period
in 2008.Meanwhile Coconut oil, Coconut milk powder and poonac exports
showcased 318 percent, 111 percent and 237 percent increase respectively
in volume terms as against the corresponding records of the previous
Major importers of DC were Dubai, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Enhanced activity in the coconut oil industry resulted in improved
supply and exports of coconut poonac. The production of Coconut oil in
the country continue to showcase a increasing trend since 2005.
The production of coconut oil in 2005 was mere 20,000 mt and it had
increased upto 75,945 mt in 2007.
Conducive market climate
The conducive market climate for coir fibre continued in 2009.
The fast emerging economy in China again acted as the major driving
force of the sector.
Although China imported large quantity of fibre in raw form Chinese
market continued to keep the sector active.
Other than China improved interest was witnessed from developed
countries towards coir as an environmentally friendly products.
As a result exports of coir in raw form remained strong it witnessed
106 percent increase in value during first quarter of 2009 against the
previous year's value of 522 Million.
Among the coir products Coir Yarn, Coir Twine, Husk chips, Moulded
coir products etc registered substantial improvement as compared to the
Coconut shell based industry is one of the other important segment in
the coconut sector.
Especially Coconut shells are used largely for activated carbon
industry which is having major demand in U.S.A., France, Japan and South
Africa for number of applications such as water purification, gold
recovery, Air pollution control, Chemical and Pharmaceutical industries
Although activated carbon could be manufactured out of number of
materials Coconut shell activated carbon fetches good price due to
In the first quarter of 2009 Sri Lanka had exported 4,247 mt of
Coconut shell activated carbon for a value of 784 million.